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Giving is something we seem to have an easier time with, or for some it is the stronger of the two, meaning the status os a giver seems more positive. But, our souls need to receive, to be open to letting all the love in, the care from others and the help from others. It balances your energy, to always be the giver can mean coming up empty in the end. Western culture teaches us that we need to stand on our own two feet and not be dependent. A protestant preacher put it this way, "Many of us overvalue autonomy, the strength to stand alone, the capacity to act independently. Far too few of us pay attention to the virtues of dependence and interdependence, and especially the capacity to be vulnerable."

Even though we may acknowledge that we are in need of assistance or help from others, we may still hesitate to be on the receiving end when we are in trouble. We do not want to be a burden, we say that we can take care of ourselves. Our reluctance to freely receive affects our relationship with others and limits our openness to God's grace. Getting better at receiving, then, is an important intention of spiritual practice.

Make a practice of consciously acknowledging your vulnerability and dependence upon others. For example, think about all the service providers who make it possible for us to ride in the elevators, make phone calls, read a book in a lighted room and have food or supplies delivered. Too often, we take this support for granted.

While eating, choose one food item and try to list all the people who helped bring it to your table. The farmers, truckers, store managers, store employees stocking the shelves...even those who facilitated the movement from where the food originated to your table. When you say grace, include blessings for all those you depend on.

Make a habit of acknowledging one free gift you have received at the end of each day. Then thank God for the presence in your life of the bearer of the gift.

Take compliments and words of encouragement, gracefully!! Resist any temptation to downplay or minimize positive things people say about you. This says to others that you are unworthy of their love and praise.

Receiving is not a weakness, it is a strength!!! Practicing the art of receiving will lead to a more balanced life, and full heart! Allow your soul to receive!

Autumn Vegetable Soup

1 large sweet potato, diced

8 oz Baby bella mushrooms

2 Carrots, chopped

2 Celery stalks, chopped

4 cloves Garlic, minced

2 large handfuls chopped Kale

1 White onion, chopped 1 (14-ounce) can Coconut milk, unsweetened

6 cups Vegetable stock

1 cup Wild rice

1 Bay leaf

1 1/2 tbsp Old bay seasoning

1 Sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, fine

  1. Combine base ingredients. Combine vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery, sweet potato, onion, bay leaf and Old Bay seasoning in the bowl of an Instant Pot pressure cooker. Stir briefly to combine.

  2. Pressure cook. Cover and cook on manual (high pressure) for 25 minutes. Let the Instant Pot rest and naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. Then carefully open the vent and quick release the remaining pressure. Remove lid and discard the bay leaf.

  3. Add final ingredients. Add the coconut milk and kale to the soup, and stir gently until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper (plus any extra Old Bay seasoning, if you would like) as needed.

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